Tyra Banks and Blackface


I've never been fond of (though I've not disliked) Tyra Banks. She seems to be the kind of person who tries to hit the mark, but ultimately misses it by a mile. Example: when she initially was talking about the "good-hair/bad-hair" debate, she was telling people to be proud of their African hair, while looking like Goldilocks. Later, she creates this hoopla that she's wearing her real hair, but she comes on stage with it straight. How permed straight hair is more significant than weave straight hair, I do not know; however, I dislike her new assumed role as ambassador to the white folk about black women's issues. She keeps saying, "If you are white, you may not understand that in the black community..." during if-you-do-not-know-you-don't-need-to-know situations. From watching her, one could gain the impression that black women have a neurosis. Even through this, Tyra Banks didn't get on my nerves too much. (I'm such a nice tolerant person you see.) However, she crossed the line with her blackface shot. People like her just make life worse for us in the world who try to stop racism and who want respect for minorities. When black people promote blackface, it sends a message that we see it as acceptable. Racist love to use people like her to justify racism, and man if Tyra didn't give them more firepower in their next argument. Well, it seems that since 2008, blackface has become fashionable, so Tyra had to take part.

  • October 2009 - Whitney Isleib
  • October 2009- Tyra
  • October 2009- Hey Hey It's Saturday
  • October 2009- Vogue
  • August 2009 - Mad Men
  • November 2008-Tropic Thunder
Who will be next, I wonder?

2 comments:

BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet said...

Hi there,

I just saw the video online that has resulted in many blog discussions. I did not see that photo shoot as an attempt to resurrect "black face" though. Tyra was not painting those white girls with brown paint and putting wigs on them to get them to mock black people or to ridicule black people or even to reinforce stereotypes of black people. She was giving them an ethnic character that they had to portray. Now, I feel she did this for publicity...no arguments there... but I do not believe that she did it so that she would introduce the notion that "black face" should be accepted and I don't believe that SHE felt that putting those white girls into ethnic characters was racist when she has had those girls in character as space aliens, and all sorts of other role-play scenarios.

Because of the use of "black face" in the past by racist white people, I realize that black people will most likely decide that ANY TIME a white person appears as anything other than "white", then they are mocking and denigrating another race or group. I don't believe that sweeping indictment can be made. Even with THAT said, I think Tyra didn't analyze the ramifications of her decision...but then...that doesn't surprise me. She's not exactly an astute social observer!

On an unrelated note...

You will notice that I completely ignored the blogger who was trying to hurl personal, petty and trite attacks and barbs in the other discussion where I added comments. I don't give folks like that the time of day or stoop to that animalistic level so you will find that I will not even waste my time. If they had any intelligent points to offer that address your topics, then they would not resort to personal attacks.

Thanks for dropping by my forum! Feel free to bring differing viewpoints anytime. It is important for black women to hear the observations and analysis of those who come from different backgrounds....to shatter the notion that all black women think alike...or that they SHOULD.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

The Black Bot said...

Thanks for posting your views. I would like to stop by your blog again, but get a 404 when I try to access.
I do not believe that people always have malicious intentions behind the what that they do, but certain things are better avoided, especially those connected with strong racism such as blackface. Blackface is simply bad taste no matter the context. When we justify blackface, using the n-word, etc. we don't have anything to say when others use them as well.

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